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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:728902. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen075. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

The knowledge, attitudes and usage of complementary and alternative medicine of medical students.

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  • 1David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759, USA.


The increasing use of CAM by patients has led to an increase in teaching about CAM in medical school in the US. In preparation for initiation of a new curriculum in Integrative Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA a cross sectional survey was used to assess medical students': (i) familiarity, (ii) opinions, (iii) personal use and (iv) willingness to recommend specific CAM modalities, using a five point Likert scale of an established measure. A total of 263 first, second and third year medical students at UCLA completed surveys. Third year students reported less personal use of CAM and less favorable attitudes towards CAM than first year students. Since this was a cross-sectional rather than longitudinal study this may be a cohort effect. However, it may reflect the increased curricular emphasis on evidenced-based medicine, and subsequent student dependence on randomized clinical trials to influence and guide practice. This will need to be addressed in curricular efforts to incorporate Integrative Medicine.

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